5 Sustainability Certifications for Farmers

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There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to growing organic. In fact, a variety of certifications focus on sustainable practices, providing farmers with options for growing organic products and consumers with options for selecting them.

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Smits Farms

Photo by Michael D. Tedesco

Food Alliance Certification

Food Alliance-certified farms are reviewed by the Food Alliance, a nonprofit that emphasizes conservation practices, reduced use of pesticides, food product integrity, enhanced working conditions for employees and protection of wildlife habitat. Smits Farms in Chicago Heights underwent Food Alliance certification because they use yard waste from a number of sources as fertilizer, and there is no way to determine whether the grass clippings accepted at the farm are treated with chemicals before they arrive – which means they can’t be certified organic, despite their sustainable efforts.

READ MORE: How One Cook County Farm is Highlighting Sustainability

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